Officers, judges, attorneys and more playing basketball to raise mental health awareness

A basketball tournament at the Decatur Rec Center on Saturday isn’t all fun and games, it has a serious message behind it.

Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin was at the Full Court Press tournament which is all about raising awareness for mental health.

Lori Freeman with the DeKalb Criminal Justice Treatment Coalition says it is a cause that is close to her heart. One of her family members experienced a mental health crisis and police had to be called out to help.

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That’s why she joined the nonprofit DCJTC and helped organize the tournament to raise money.

The money they raise will be used to help educate police and support the people they are called out to help during a crisis.

“We’re helping those people who have been charged with a misdemeanor crime. We don’t want them incarcerated, that is mental health-related, on the road to recovery,” Freeman told Griffin.


The teams are made up of officers, judges, attorneys and more from across metro Atlanta.

“Mental illness is real and it’s rampant and it’s increasing. So we have a need to have this court as a resource for those that suffering from serious mental health that trusted into the criminal justice system,” said DeKalb Misdemeanor Mental Health Court Judge Rhathia Stroud.

Most of the crowd came to watch the fun and support a good cause with their eight dollar price of admission.

“I think it’s important to definitely take care of our mental health in every aspect. It’s very important. A lot of times it goes unnoticed and un-talked about,” supporter Sierra Ray said.

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The tournament picks back up on Sunday morning.